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The ranity of idols,

ISAIAH.

and folly of idol makers. Before name of Jacob; and another shall | his rule; he marketh it out with a Before about 712. subscribe with his hand unto the line; he fitteth it with planes, and he about 712.

LORD, and surname himself by the marketh it out with the compass, and
name of Israel.

maketh it after the figure of a man,
6 Thus saith the Lord the King according to the beauty of a man;

of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD that it may remain in the house. c Chap. 41. 4. of hosts; I am the first, and I am 14 He beweth him down cedars, Rev. 1.8, 17. the last; and beside me there is no and taketh the cypress and the oak, God.

which he || strengtheneth for himself i Or, taketh 7 And who, as I, shall call, and among the trees of the forest: he “** shall declare it, and set it in order for planteth an ash, and the rain doth me, since I appointed the ancient nourish it. people? and the things that are com 15 Then shall it be for a man to ing, and shall come, let them shew burn: for he will take thereof, and unto them.

warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, 8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid : and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a have not I told thee from that time, god, and worshippeth it; he maketh and have declared it? ye arc even it a graven image, and falleth down

my witnesses. Is there a God be thereto. d Char: 45. 5. side me? yea, d there is no † God; Il 16 He burneth part thereof in the

fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; 99 They that make a graven image he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, are all of them vanity; and their he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I + delectable things shall not profit; am warm, I have seen the fire:

and they are their own witnesses; 17 And the residue thereof he e Ps. 115.4, e they see not, nor know; that they maketh a god, even his graven image: may be ashamed.

he falleth down unto it, and worship10 Who hath formed a god, or peth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, molten a graven image that is profit- Deliver me; for thou art my god. able for nothing?

18 They have not known nor un11 Behold, all his fellows shall be derstood: 'for he hath + shut their + Heb. fPs. 977: fashamed: and the workmen, they eyes, that they cannot see; and their way 42. 17. & 45. are of men: let them all be gathered hearts, that they cannot understand.

together, let them stand up; yet they 19 And none p considereth in his + Heb. setteth shall fear, and they shall be ashamed heart, neither is there knowledge nor“ together.

understanding to say, I have burned & Jer. 10.3., 12 & The smith || with the tongs part of it in the fire; yea, also I have

both worketh in the coals, and fashion- baked bread upon the coals thereof;
eth it with hammers, and worketh it I have roasted flesh, and eaten it :
with the strength of his arms: yea, and shall I make the residue thereof
he is hungry, and his strength fail- an abomination ? shall I fall down to
eth: he drinketh no water, and is + the stock of a tree?
faint.

20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived of a tree ? 13 The carpenter stretcheth out heart hath turned him aside, that he

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6. Thus saith the Lord, - I am the first, &c.] In the sacred writers are generally large and eloquent upon Revelation Jesus Christ says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the subject of idolatry: they treat it with great severity, the beginning and the end, the first and the last," Rev. and set forth the absurdity of it in the strongest light. xxii. 13. These titles of “the first” and “the last" are But this passage of Isaiah (ver. 12-20.) far exceeds confined in the Prophet to Him alone, “besides whom any thing that was ever written on the subject. in force there is no God.” But Jesus hath assumed these titles of argument, energy of expression, and elegance of to Himself: therefore Jesus is that God, besides whom composition. One or two of the Apocryphal writers there is no other Jones of Nayland.

have attempted to imitate the Prophet, Wisd. xiii. 11 8. have not I told thee from that time,] Rather, -19; xv. 7, &c.; Baruch vi. Bp. Lowth. “from the beginning," or, “of old.” W. Lowth. See 18. — for he hath shut their eyes,] The old Translanote on chap. xvi. 13.

tion expresses the sense better, “their eyes are stopped.” 9. — their delectable things] Their images, upon W. Lowth. which they laid out all the cost they could. Compare 20. He feedeth on ashes :] He feedeth on that which Dan. xi. 38. W. Lowth.

affordeth no nourishment. A proverbial expression for 10. — molten a graven image] See the note on chap. using ineffectual means, and bestowing labour to no xl. 19.

purpose. In the same sense Hosea says, “Ephraim 17. And the residue thereof he maketh a god,] The feedeth on wind,” chap. xii. 1. Bp. Lowth. .

CHRIST

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ch. 45. 13.

God exhorteth Israel to praise him CHAP. XLIV, XLV. for his redemption and omnipotency.

Before cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is servant, and performeth the counsel Before about 712. there not a lie in my right hand? of his messengers; that saith to Jeru- about 712.

21 | Remember these, O Jacob salem, Thou shalt be inhabited ; and
and Israel; for thou art my servant: to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be
I have formed thee; thou art my built, and I will raise up the of decay- + Heb.wastes.
servant: 0 Israel, thou shalt not be ed places thereof:
forgotten of me.

27 That saith to the deep, Be dry,
22 I have blotted out, as a thick and I will dry up thy rivers:
cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a 28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my
cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for shepherd, and shall perform all my
I have redeemed thee.

pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem,
23 Sing, ( ye heavens; for the h Thou shalt be built; and to the h 2 Chron.
Lord hath done it : shout, ye lower temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Ezra i. 1.
parts of the earth: break forth into

CHAP. XLV. singing, ye mountains, O forest, and

and | 1 God calleth Cyrus for his church's sake. every tree therein: for the LORD |

5 By his omnipotency he challengeth obehath redeemed Jacob, and glorified dience. 20 He convinceth the idols of himself in Israel.

vanity by his saving power.
24 Thus saith the Lord, thy re- HUS saith the Lord to his
deemer, and he that formed thee from 1 anointed, to Cyrus, whose right
the womb, I am the Lord that mak-hand I || have holden, to subdue na- || Or,
eth all things; that stretcheth forth tions before him; and I will loose the
the heavens alone; that spreadeth loins of kings, to open before him the
abroad the earth by myself;

two leaved gates; and the gates shall
25 That frustrateth the tokens of not be shut;
the liars, and maketh diviners mad; 2 I will go before thee, and make
that turneth wise men backward, and the crooked places straight: I will
maketh their knowledge foolish; break in pieces the gates of brass,

26 That confirmeth the word of his and cut in sunder the bars of iron :

strengthened.

- Is there not a lie] That is, a lying vanity “in this prophecy : Jeremiah also has noted it, chap. I. 38; my right hand ?" This was a just appeal to common li. 36. See note on chap. xiv. 23. Bp. Lowth. sense against the abominable stupidity of worshipping 28. That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, &c.] idols, which, when wrought up to their highest perfec- Here does Isaiah, near 200 years beforehand, name the tion, can but resemble some great man, but can never very person who should order the enlargement of the be endued with the sense of the poorest idiot, or even Jews: and Jeremiah, chap. xxix. 10, points out the of the vilest brute: how much less can any thing of year in which it should happen. Dr. Berriman. Thus Divine power or knowledge be ascribed to them ? 'The God calleth things that are not, that have no existence, Pagans of old endeavoured to defend their worship of as if they were, because He has power to fulfil all His images by saying, that they did not terminate their wor- pleasure, and can, whenever He sees fit, produce those ship in them, but only used them as a medium to convey things into light, which He suffers to remain unactheir devotions to a Divine invisible being. And some complished for many years after the first prediction. idolatrous Christians have used the same argument for Reading. the same purpose. But God, who best knows the nature of religious worship, charges these devotees with Chap. XLV. ver. 1. the Lord to his anointed, to idolizing the figures before which they prostrate them- | Cyrus,] From the custom which obtained among the selves, not only in this chapter, but in various other Jews of separating, by the ceremony of anointing, both places of His holy word. Reading.

persons and things to particular purposes, the person 23. Sing, O ye heavens ; &c.] The expressions here, who is constituted and appointed by God (as Cyrus) to and in parallel passages, denote the joy to be so great some great office or employment, is said to be “the and universal, that even the inanimate parts of the Lord's anointed.” Bp. Kidder. creation are said to be affected with it, and are exhorted — I will loose the loins of kings,] See note on chap. to bear a part in the general chorus. W. Lowth. v. 27.

24.— I am the Lord alone ; by myself ;] We - to open before him the two leaved gates ;] The are not to suppose that this is said to the exclusion of gates of Babylon within the city, leading down to the any Person of the blessed Trinity, but only in opposi- / river, were left open when Cyrus's forces entered tion to creatures or other gods; see chap. ii. 11, 17; through the channel, in the general disorder occasioned xliii. 11. The word God is probably in such places to by the festival then celebrated : and the gates of be understood in a large indefinite sense, comprising the palace were imprudently opened by the king's the whole Trinity, where the context or other circum- orders, to inquire the cause of the tumult without. stances do not confine the signification and intent to Bp. Lowth. one person only. Dr. Waterland.

2.- the gates of brass,] In every side of the great 27. That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up square wall which encompassed Babylon were twentythy rivers :] By the remarkable manner in which Ba- five gates, one hundred in all, of solid brass; those bylon was taken did the event exactly correspond with which led to the river, and those which enclosed the

CHRIST

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b Jer. 18. 6. Rom. 9. 20.

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God calleth Cyrus for his church s sake. ISAIAH.. He asserteth his own omnipotency.

Before 3 And I will give thee the trea- with the potsherds of the earth. Shall Before about 712. sures of darkness, and hidden riches of the clay say to him that fashioneth it, about 712.

secret places, that thou mayest know What makest thou? or thy work, He
that I, the LORD, which call thee hath no hands?
by thy name, am the God of Israel. 10 Woe unto him that saith unto

4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and his father, What begettest thou ? or to
Israel mine elect, I have even called the woman, What hast thou brought
thee by thy name: I have surnamed forth?

thee, though thou hast not known me. 11 Thus saith the Lord, the Holy

5. 5 9 I a am the LORD, and there is One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask chap. 14. 8. none else, there is no God beside me: me of things to come concerning my

I girded thee, though thou hast not sons, and concerning the work of my
known me:

| hands command ye me.
6 That they may know from the 12 I have made the earth, and
rising of the sun, and from the west, created man upon it: I, even my
that there is none beside me. I am hands, have stretched out the hea-
the LORD, and there is none else. vens, and all their host have I com-

7 I form the light, and create manded.
darkness: I make peace, and create 13 I have raised him up in righ-
evil : I the Lord do all these things. teousness, and I will || direct all his | Or, make

8 Drop down, ye heavens, from ways: he shall build my city, and he c2 Chron. 36. above, and let the skies pour down shall let go my captives, not for price Ezra 1. 1. righteousness: let the earth open, and nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts. chap. 44. 28. let them bring forth salvation, and let 14 Thus saith the Lord, The larighteousness spring up together; I bour of Egypt, and merchandise of the Lord have created it.

Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of 9 Woe unto him that striveth with stature, shall come over unto thee, and his Maker! Let the potsherd strive they shall be thine : they shall come

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temple of Belus, were of the same material. Dean 9. Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! &c.] Prideaux,

The Prophet warns the people not to be impatient, but 3. -- I will give thee the treasures of darkness, &c.] The to wait God's time for accomplishing their redemption : riches which Cyrus found in his conquests amounted men may contend with their equals, with those who are to a prodigious value : those parts of Asia abounded in made of the same clay with themselves, but should not wealth and luxury; Babylon had been heaping up trea- presume to inquire of God the reasons of His proceedsures for many years, and the riches of Cræsus king of ings, or find fault with His works of creation or proLydia, whom Cyrus conquered and took prisoner, are vidence, as if not wisely contrived or well-timed. W. in a manner become proverbial. Bp. Newton.

Lowth. 4,5.- though thou hast not known me. That is, Shalt 11.- Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, be bred in ignorance of Me; and remain so, till I am &c.] These words import, that, although God be not made known to thee by My Prophet Daniel. Dr. Wells. obliged to render an account of His proceedings to His See note at Ezra i. 1.

creatures, He was graciously pleased, through His Pro7. I form the light, and create darkness : &c.] This phets, to resolve any questions proposed concerning seems to be spoken in reference to the Persian sect of His people's future destiny. W. Lowth. An answer to the Magians, who held the being of two first causes, that effect seems to be contained in the following verses, Light, or the good god, who was the author of all good; and the rest of the chapter generally; ver. 13, 14, deand Darkness, or the evil god, the author of all evil; claring to God's people, not only that they shall be and that of the mixture of these two, as they were in a liberated from captivity, but that great happiness awaits continual struggle with each other, all things were made. them ; and ver. 20, 22, 23, pointing to the universal Dean Prideaux.

call of the Gentiles, and second advent of Christ, as ver. 8. Drop down, ye heavens, &c.] These expressions, | 23, is applied by St. Paul in the passages referred to in taken from the dew and the rain descending from hea- the margin. Jos. Mede. ven, and making the earth fruitful, and some nearly of 13. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will the same kind, used Ps. lxxxv. 9–13, may perhaps be direct all his ways :) This is to be immediately underprimarily understood to set forth, in a splendid manner, stood of Cyrus, whom God raised up to be the instruthe happy state of God's people, restored to their coun ment of executing His justice upon the Babylonians, and try, and flourishing in peace and plenty, in piety and fulfilling His mercy to the Jews ; but many passages, virtue ; but they must undoubtedly have a further re- manifestly relating to the deliverance of the Jewish naference to the blessings of the great redemption by the tion effected by Cyrus, are with good reason and upon Messiah. Bp. Lowth. In the prophetick writings the undoubted authority to be understood of the redempexpressions often run so high, as to denote events and tion wrought for mankind by Christ. W. Lowth, Bp. characters too gloriously great for the thing or person | Lowth. next at hand; which is esteemed a certain indication of 14. - The labour of Egypt, &c.] All we meet with in their having in prospect some other more remote, in this verse must be understood to have respect to reliwhich they are to find their just completion. Dean Stan- gion; predicting that in astertimes proselytes of various hope.

| nations should submit themselves to the Church of

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d Chap. 44.

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He convinceth the idols of vanity CHAP. XLV, XLVI.

by his saving power. Before, after thee; in chains they shall come no knowledge that set up the wood of Before about 712. over, and they shall fall down unto their graven image, and pray unto a about 712.

thee, they shall make supplication god that cannot save.
unto thee, saying, Surely God is in 21 Tell ye, and bring them near;
thee; and there is none else, there is yea, let them take counsel together :
no God.

who hath declared this from ancient
15 Verily thou art a God that time? who hath told it from that time?
hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the have not I the LORD? and there is no
Saviour.

God else beside me; a just God and
16 They shall be ashamed, and also a Saviour; there is none beside me.
confounded, all of them : they shall 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved,
go to confusion together that are all the ends of the earth: for I am
d makers of idols.

God, and there is none else.
17 But Israel shall be saved in the 23 I have sworn by myself, the
LORD with an everlasting salvation : word is gone out of my mouth in
ye shall not be ashamed nor con- righteousness, and shall not return,
founded world without end.

That unto me every fknee shall bow, f Rom. 14.11.
18 For thus saith the LORD that every tongue shall swear.
created the heavens; God himself 2* || Surely, shall one say, in the Or, Surely
that formed the earth and made it; Lord have I t righteousness and me. In the
be hath established it, he created it strength: even to him shall men come;
not in vain, he formed it to be inha- and all that are incensed against him and strength.
bited: I am the LORD; and there is shall be ashamed.
none else.

25 In the Lord shall all the seed
19 I have not spoken in secret, in of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
a dark place of the earth : I said not

CHAP. XLVI.
into the seed of Jacob, week ye me i The idols of Babylon could not save them-
in vain: I the Lord speak righteous selves. 3 God saveth his people to the end.
ness, I declare things that are right. 5 Idols are not comparable to God for

20 | Assemble yourselves and power, 12 or present salvation.
come; draw near together, ye that D EL boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, about 712.
are escaped of the nations: they have D their idols were upon the beasts,

Phil. 2. 10.

he shall say of

LORD is all righteousness

righteousnesses.

e Deut. 30, 11.

raised against her, becoming bound in spirit, and prison- in reality he overthrew his own power. In either event ers in the Lord Jesus, should dedicate themselves, and the oracle would have appeared true. Bp. Lowth. whatever their land produced most precious, to the ser- By such fallacious oracles did those evil spirits, from vice of God; which prophecy might be literally fulfilled, whom they proceeded, delude mankind in those days, in a small degree, by the Jews receiving formerly prose- rendering their answers in such ambiguous terms, that, lytes from all nations, and offerings to their temple from whatever were the event, they might admit of an intersome kings and countries, yet must principally be ap- pretation to agree with it. Dean Prideaux. plied to that event, which was so constantly before the 23. — unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall eyes of the Prophets, and is so repeatedly treated of by swear. We must observe, that these words, here them, the call of the Gentiles. Vitringa. See notes on said to be spoken by God Jehovah, are applied by St. chap. xiv. 1.

| Paul to Jesus Christ. Bp. Wilson. 15. Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself,7 The It is a rule laid down by St. Paul, “that God swears Prophet testifies here his firm trust in future deliver- by Himself,” for this reason, “because He can swear by ance, though God may seem to neglect His people, for a no greater," Heb. vi. 13. But the words in the text, time; and professes withal the unsearchableness of being compared with Rom. xiv. 10, 11, are proved to be God's ways; see chap. lv. 8, 9. Vitringa. He turns the words of Christ. Christ therefore has sworn by Himfrom this solemn adoration of the secret and mysterious self; so that, if the Apostle's rule be applied, He must nature of God's counsels to a spirited denunciation of for this reason be God, and there can be no greater. the confusion of idolaters, and final destruction of idola- | Jones of Nayland. try, contrasted with the salvation of Israel. Bp. Lowth. Such instances constantly occur, and all of them are

19. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the plain proofs of the Divinity of Christ, and that the Proearth :] In opposition to the manner in which the hea- phets of the Old Testament had all along an eye to the then oracles gave their answers, and to their falsehood times of the New, and spoke of the Messiah as God. and ambiguity. They were generally delivered from W. Lowth. some deep and obscure cavern ; such was the seat of the Cumean sybil, mentioned in Virgil ; such that of the Chap. XLVI. ver. 1. Bel boweth down,] See Dean famous oracle of Delphi. The answer given to Crasus, / Prideaux's note on Gen. x. 9. when he marched against Cyrus, (a piece of history that - Bel, - Nebo] Idols worshipped in the East; it has has some connexion with this part of Isaiah's prophecy,) been conjectured that the former meant the sun, the latis well known ; “ Cresus, by passing the Halys, will ter the moon. Vitringa. overthrow a great kingdom !" Cræsus supposed by this! their idols were upon the beasts, &c.] The images

1.

Before CHRIST

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b Ps. 33, 11. Prov, 19, 21. & 21. 30. Hebr. 6. 17.

man of any counsel.

Idols are not comparable to God

ISAIAH.

for power, or present salvation. Before and upon the cattle: your carriages 1 8 Remember this, and shew your- . about 712. were heavy loaden; they are a bur- selves men: bring it again to mind, about 712. den to the weary beast.

O ye transgressors.
2 They stoop, they bow down to- 9 Remember the former things of

gether; they could not deliver the old: for I am God, and there is none + Heb. their burden, but + themselves are gone else; I am God, and there is none into captivity.

like me,
3 | Hearken unto me, O house of 10 Declaring the end from the be-
Jacob, and all the remnant of the ginning, and from ancient times the
house of Israel, which are borne by things that are not yet done, saying,
me from the belly, which are carried My counsel shall stand, and I will
from the womb : .

do all my pleasure:
4 And even to your old age I am 11 Calling a ravenous bird from
he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry the east, † the man that executeth my Heb, the
you : I have made, and I will bear; counsel from a far country: yea, I counsel.
even I will carry, and will deliver have spoken it, I will also bring it to
you.

pass; I have purposed it, I will also
5 1 a To whom will ye liken me, do it.
and make me equal, and compare me, | 12 | Hearken unto me, ye stout-
that we may be like?

hearted, that are far from righteous-
6 They lavish gold out of the bag, ness:
and weigh silver in the balance, and 13 I bring near my righteousness;
hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a it shall not be far off, and my salva-
god: they fall down, yea, they wor- tion shall not tarry: and I will place
ship.

salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.
7 They bear him upon the shoul-
der, they carry him, and set him in

CHAP. XLVII.
his place, and he standeth ; from his 1 God's judgment upon Babylon and Chaldea,
place shall he not remove: yea, one

6 for their unmercifulness, 7 pride, 10) and

overboldness, 11 shall be unresistible. shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trou N OME down, and sit in the dust, about 712.

V O virgin daughter of Babylon,

a Chap. 10. 18, 25.

ble.

of these deities were to be no longer carried about in so- larly because his ensign was a golden eagle. Bp. Lowth. lemn procession by their worshippers, but in triumph Conquerors that overrun and ravage countries are elseand with derision by the Persians; as was usual for con- where compared to birds of prey ; see Ezek. xvii. 3,4 ; querors to do in token of complete victory. W. Lowth. | 2 Esdras xii. 11. W. Lowth. Compare Jer. xlviii. 7 ; Dan. xi. 8.

- from the east, the man that executeth my counsel] 3. house of Israel, which are borne by me &c.] The Compare chap. xli. 25; and xliv. 28; xlv. 13. N. Prophet contrasts the power of God, and His tender Lowth. goodness effectually exerted towards His people, with the — I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass ;] If inability of the false gods of the heathen. He, like an in all succeeding ages, from that time to this, we attend indulgent father, had carried His people, “ as a man doth to the great events that have happened in the world, we bear his son,” Deut. i. 31 ; had protected them, and de- , shall find them all conducted by the same sovereign and livered them from their distresses : the idols must be almighty hand : especially, if we observe, that many of themselves carried about by their worshippers, (ver. 7,) these events were foretold long before they happened, removed from place to place with much labour and fa and have since been exactly accomplished, we must contigue, nor can they answer when their votaries cry unto clude these to be visible and incontestible proofs of the them. Bp. Lowth. They were so far from being able eternal power and godhead of Him, who so “declared to defend them, that they could not save themselves ; | the end from the beginning ;" His power effecting what and those, who were wont to be bowed to and adored, His wisdom had foreseen and decreed. Hereby we are are forced themselves to bow and stoop to the will of the not only taught the use and benefit of history in geneplundering soldier, and are removed as common lumber, ral, especially of that contained in the holy Scriptures ; ver. 1, 2. Wogan.

but, by comparing events with the prophecies therein 8. Remember this, and shew yourselves men :) That is, contained, we must be convinced with the utmost cerConsider it well, think of it again and again. Consider- tainty, that the Scriptures are infallibly true ; that they ation is the proper act of reasonable creatures, to whom | are the word of God, and not of man ; the word of Him it is peculiar to propose to themselves some end and de alone, who declares “the end from the beginning, and sign of their actions; if ye do not this, you do not shew from ancient times the things that are not yet done ;" yourselves men, but are rather like brute creatures who besides can say, “ What I have spoken I will also who have no understanding, and act only by a natural bring to pass ; what I have purposed I will also do." instinct. Abp. Tillotson.

Wogan. 11. Calling a ravenous bird] The eagle; a very proper emblem of Cyrus ; as in other respects, so particu- ! Chap. XLVII. ver. 1. - O virgin daughter of Babylon,]

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